As you look ahead to 2013, here's a personal finance resolution for your new year: Don't be a victim of a cyberattack.
However, like many resolutions, it looks like this one will be challenging to keep. A new report from security technology company McAfee highlights that hackers will be targeting your mobile device next year for new opportunities to steal your banking information. While you may be on the digital wallet bandwagon, you're not the only one. It looks like thieves are along for the ride, and they see opportunities to uncover your private information.
"As users are able to make "tap and pay" purchases in more locations, they'll carry their digital wallets everywhere," the report authors write. "That flexibility will, unfortunately, also be a boon to thieves."
McAfee warns that malicious hackers can develop programs that capitalize on that functionality to tap and infect mobile devices with worms that can steal money. The report states that these programs will be most dangerous in high-trafficked areas such as airports, malls and theme parks where a large number of mobile devices can help the worms transfer quickly and infect a large number of devices.
The potential troubles for your phone don't stop there. You may be used to spam emails, but get ready for spam text messages, too. McAfee predicts a rise in pill advertising and phishing lures via text messages next year. If you do receive a message that you believe is spam, McAfee says that you should forward the message to SPAM (7726) to notify your cellphone provider and have the message blocked.
It's been a tough 2012 for cybercrime. Banks have been primary targets for cyberattackers who have banded together to disrupt access to banking websites. As banks look to protect themselves and their account holders, the McAfee report highlights that financial institutions will need to work even harder in 2013 to keep money and information safe.
What are you concerned about in 2013? Are you keeping your mobile device updated with the latest security safeguards? Do you have any tips on how to protect your personal finance information?